Prompt: In Wobovnik’s text and video “These Shoes Aren’t made for Walking”, she presents an analysis of the high-heeled shoe as a cultural artifact. Wobovnik explains that people often have different associations with the same cultural artifact, because the “cultural agents bring the object into meaning by using it” (85). In other words, an object only has meaning because it is used by people, and people create meaning according to cultural and social practices.
For your GREATs module essay, you will select a cultural artifact to analyze in a similar way to Wobovnik’s analysis of the high-heeled shoe. For your discussion post, select a contemporary cultural artifact that either limits or promotes freedom for individuals (this may have changed throughout history, but focus on the current societal views of the object). Respond to the following questions in two to three paragraphs:
- How is the artifact experienced or interpreted?
- What is the artifact’s role in society?
- How does the artifact contribute to and actively shape cultural ideals and expectations?
- How does the artifact support or revise conventional ideas, practices, or expectations?
- How does the artifact create meaning?
- How does this artifact promote specific values of freedom, or oppression?
- Which cultural groups are affected by the artifact?
- How does the artifact participate in influencing the formation of personal or group identity?
- How is this artifact representative of wider social assumptions that are promoted through media and stereotypes?
Explanation & Answer: